The Leader of the Opposition

Extracts from Obama's speech today on the war in Clinton - yes, Clinton - Iowa. He was introduced by Zbigniew Brzezinski:

"My plan for ending the war would turn the page in Iraq by removing our combat troops from Iraq's civil war; by taking a new approach to press for a new accord on reconciliation within Iraq; by talking to all of Iraq's neighbors to press for a compact in the region; and by confronting the human costs of this war."

The stated purpose of the surge was to enable Iraq's political leaders to reconcile. They have not done so... Our troops fight and die in the 120 degree heat to give Iraq's leaders space to agree, but they are not filling it... The bar for success is so low that it is almost buried in the sand."

Our troops have performed brilliantly. . . . The excellence of our military is unmatched. But as a result of this war, our forces are under pressure as never before... our troop presence cannot be sustained without crippling our military's ability to respond to other contingencies. "

"Removing our troops is part of applying real pressure on Iraq’s leaders to end their civil war... The problems in Iraq are bigger than one man. Iraq needs a new constitutional convention that would include representatives from all levels of Iraqi society – in and out of government."